Heading to Texas

After the chaos of 2020, when facing an abnormal holiday season, I decided to opt out of the questions of which holiday events to attend and who to socialize with. I had accumulated an excessive amount of vacation time at work so had to decide between tackling house projects or my birding bucket list. After the stress of a global pandemic, the birding trip seemed much more fun. And with my trailer, I felt I could carry everything I need. I could stay safe in my bubble. I began trip planning. I briefly debated exploring the northern forests of Minnesota, but wasn’t quite ready to face the arctic temps in my trailer. South Texas seemed much more appealing temperature-wise.

Leaving town for three weeks is a job in itself and I didn’t get out of the house as early as I had hoped. My first day on the road was a long one, but I made it to Arkansas. I had booked a night at the Memphis KOA and pulled in well after dark. Fortunately, I had an easy access pull-thru site. The KOA Journey campgrounds aren’t very fancy, but I have learned that after a long day of driving I appreciate a bit of electricity to microwave a meal or watch a bit of a movie. I also look forward to a hot shower and was disappointed to find I hadn’t firmly replaced the low point drain cap and wouldn’t have any water until I could find a substitution at a hardware store. ::facepalm::

I made do and woke up early the next morning to get back on the road. I was in Texas before long. Blue was not impressed with either the length of the drive or my driving.

Fortunately, we arrived at our first Texas destination before dark and dinner. We were able to get a fire going, and get out to stretch our legs.

The next day was a rest day to explore the Lake Tawakoni area. The weather was great and we were able to get in a short hike. We returned to the trailer for a late lunch, explored a bit more by car, and generally recharged from two long road days. The birding was a little on the disappointing side, but I did manage to get a couple lifers and found an area that the warblers seemed to love. In my original trip plan, I was going to spend three nights here. Two was plenty for my purposes. However, the sites were large and secluded. This would make a great getaway for locals and it seemed to cater to fishing.

My departure day was plagued with bad weather. No worries – I was in no hurry. I puttered around in the morning, enjoying my coffee as the rain pelted the roof of the trailer. Surely it would let up for long enough to pack up and head out. But both the clock and rain persevered. Noon approached without any sign of a dry spell. I bundled up and made do. Dumping the sewer in ankle deep water was a low point in my camping career.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t really let up on the rest of the drive. It was only about 3 hours to the next stop, but there was a steady downpour for much of the drive. I arrived at Dinosaur Valley still wet and rather exhausted. It was an early night and I was especially grateful for the heated mattress that night.

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